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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  October 9, 2014 6:00am-8:01am EDT

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the government has picked winners and losers. obamacare includes $900 billion worth of subsidies over ten years for the major commercial health insurers. the union health plans are not eligible and are being frozen out of that market by government picking winners and losers. it is a mistake. >> thank you. our next question is from tony's zimmer. candid it tom macarthur first. >> what policy should the federal government pursue to and brevard nation's economy please discuss the federal government's responsibility for addressing growing economic disparity across economic income groups and also include an increase. macarthur: thank you. i believe this touches on the most important element of this campaign, the
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economy. the economy is the bedrock, the foundation of so much else that we will talk about and have talked about tonight. in the basic building block of the economy is jobs. this government is pursuing policies right now that are killing job creation. we have 8 million people as of a few weeks ago that have dropped out of the search for a job and despair. 7 million people are stuck in part-time jobs command we have millions still unemployed complete. and there are things -- there is no silver bullet, but there are concrete to make immediate things that this government can do to improve and foster job creation. a few weeks ago i issued a jobs report. pretty comprehensive. it is on my website. and a call for action across various industries like infrastructure investment as an example or things that can be done in health care
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or important things to pinscher -- venture continued and growing employment. there are things the government can do in every industry that would help with job creation. one quick example in infrastructure, dedicated, stable source of funding is essential if we're going to have the highway trust fund that can create infrastructure projects and put people to work like the union members have endorsed me. we must pursue those policies. and i believe that is what will lift up and create opportunity for people that are really struggling to then. >> thank you. belgard: there are many ways we should bolster our economy. first, i think that small businesses are the backbone to the economy. we should look to increase the access that small businesses have to capital so that we can encourage small businesses not only to start out but to move
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forward and to grow. i think that we need to reduce the tax burden on small businesses, give them a double tax credit for their star of cost. also, make sure that small business loans are accessible and available to them. i would agree that i think that we need to make sure that we are investing in infrastructure, which is so critical. with regard to the joint space, this is an absolute economic engine here in south jersey with 40,000 jobs right on the base and an additional 60,000 indirect jobs related to the base. i am very familiar with this having grown up in south jersey and served as an honorary commander. we absolutely need an advocate for the basin washington. it is something and have advocated for and we will continue to advocate for in washington d.c. as far as the minimum wage,
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there is no doubt that we need to increase the minimum wage. with regard to women alone two-thirds of people on minimum wage a woman. these are people who are trying to make ends meet and put meals on the table for their families. so by increasing the minimum wage we can bolster the economy for women and for their families. with regard to women we need to make sure that women are being paid fairly, that they're being paid equally to their male counterparts. >> to you want to respond? >> i do want to respond. on the help small-business, it is essential. small business is a mainstay of employment in this country, and as somebody who has had the privilege of creating thousands of jobs, i have some understanding of the decisions i made as a ceo based upon tax policy and regulatory policy. my opponents was a local
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elected official in as will our park. she voted for a resolution to put a jobs tax and speaks tonight about wanting to help small businesses grow but voted for a tax on small business. i have never heard of anything like that the local level. on top of on hundred she's a middle-class she voted to tax certain businesses every time they hired a new employee. i don't understand how that helps small business. >> moderator: would you like to respond? belgard: i will just mention, i have seen how small businesses are struggling to make ends meet. again, i think we need to make sure that we are working for small businesses so that they can continue grow and so that we can encourage the startup of small businesses. and as i outlined some of the ideas with regard to
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access to capital, reduction of fees on small businesses, these are always that we can help small businesses right here in the third district. >> as small housekeeping know. and someone left a handbag and outside the building. if that is yours it is there. all right. the next question, and the order will be candid it aimee belgard first. >> please discuss your ideas for overhauling u.s. immigration policy. in your response, please address the issue of seeking access to higher education and the current influx of miners. belgard: so, i think that we have seen an obviously recently especially in the news the problems of we are having with immigration in this country come immigration issues,
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especially with minors. but we have also see it here in the third district. as i mentioned a moment ago, my husband is a small-business owner. asine in my own life for he has lost jobs because of companies and were able to outbid him because there were using illegal workers. so you know, as i talk to people throughout the district hear similar stories. it is something that is to be addressed by making sure that we have secure borders. now, i am not for amnesty. i am for a tough but fair tattoos up at the citizenship which would include making sure that those who are in line are at the front of the line, making sure that folks who are criminals are sent home, making sure that folks who want a path to citizenship are paying their back taxes. i also think the important thing to look at is here in the third district where we have a large veteran
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population, where we have veteran immigrants who want a path to citizenship, put them to the front of the line as well which is a unique position here for the third district. these are all different elements that can be we've been to this problem, but the problem right now is that we have got legislators were not even willing to talk about it, are not even going to come to the table and negotiate. and that is what is broken. we need to get our legislators talking about these problems so that we can work to resolve the immigration problem. >> thank you. >> we have a major immigration problem. the sixth highest population of undocumented illegal emigrants in the country. it is hard to believe we are not a border state, but we do. i have laid out my position for many months now on immigration. we will sound familiar to you. tough but fair, returning
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criminals to their country of origin, payment of back taxes. if you go to my website you will find that. if you go to ms. aimee belgard website you will find the word immigration. it is not even on our website. she just gave you my position from my website which i think is kind of interesting. [laughter] i also believe this president when he chased policies issued or homing signal to central america that has brought on the crisis we are experiencing right now. and we must address border security first and foremost. that has to be the starting point for anything, any policy. our also like to ask ms. ms. aimee belgard how she feels about in state tuition. i did not hear her mention that. i would be interested if she is willing to answer how she feels by granting institution to children that are here illegally. >> moderator: would you like or about zero?
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and there is no necessity to answer a question. @booktv i'm fine. >> moderator: we will now proceed. >> gun safety measures the you would support, discuss in general your thoughts on the need for greater gun safety in the u.s. macarthur: my starting point is i believe americans have a second amendment right to defend themselves, their family, their property without relying upon the state. and that is the starting point for me. i do believe that we need to work with law enforcement and with mental health advocates to make sure that guns to not end up in the hands of criminals and those that are mentally unstable. new jersey has among the most stringent gun control laws in the country today.
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i believe enforcing existing laws and not adding new ones is a better approach. >> thank you. belgard: so i fully understand and appreciate the second amendment. my husband actually owns guns. but as a mother i feel that it is about gun safety. so while i and a stand that there are sports menu use guns and want to protect their homes with guns, i think we all would agree that we need to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and out of the hands of folks with mental health issues. and i think that there are ways that we can look to further address this. making sure that we are keeping guns out of the hands of criminals, we are also keeping them out of the hands of the seven convicted of dusting violence issues. we need to make sure that we are closing loopholes at gun shows and we need to make sure that we are -- that we
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have background checks. again, this is an issue that needs further addressing, as we have seen some of the tragedies that have happened recently across our nation, even most recently the incident in arizona with the young are from new jersey, nine years old who killed her gun instructor with the newsy. this 9-year-old girl is never going to be able to return to the life that she once had. so again, it is about gun safety and making sure that we have measures in place to keep gun safe. >> thank you. >> okay. all other questions, don't have to give the names.
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this first question will begin with candid it aimee belgard on social security. do you believe changes need to be made to social security to make it more secure? >> i think of social security as a promise that we have made to our senior generation. these are benefits. and i am not in favor of changing or privatizing social security. in that think that there are ways that we can work to foster social security going forward. again, coming back to bolstering the economy, when he looked at minimum wage, just raising the minimum wage can add over $4 billion to social security by 2016. equal pay for women could decrease the shortfalls of social security by one-third. so there are a multitude of different options and ways that we can increase social
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security going for a rather than changing it. i am not in favor of pushing the goalposts down the field and changing the age or reneging on our promises. again, we are smart nation. we need to talk about ways of keeping our promises to our older generation. >> thank you. social security is a promise that must be kept. particularly for those that are nearing or in retirement , people have bet their whole lives around this. and it must be preserved for them. first and foremost the fix for this is to improve the economy, create jobs. social security was set up as a system where today's generation of workers supports today's generation of retirees. in the problem is because we have a baby boomer generation moving into retirement and so many people out of work were stuck in part-time jobs,
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soci security is under tremendous stress. first and foremost, we have got to get the economy working again with jobs. if that is not enough, then we can look at people my daughter's age that are just entering the workforce and see if there are amendments and changes that might make sense. but my hope would be most of the stress would be removed by getting america working in. >> thank you. the next question will begin with their candid. the question is fracking, where you stand on fracking, particularly the transport of waste through your jersey ? macarthur: we don't do fracking in new jersey because we don't have a shell the pauses here to do it. in general, i think it is something that should be explored. it is a way to extract more
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natural gas, and we should be doing that safely. with regard to the transport of chemicals from one state to another, i believe that is an issue for those states new jersey does permit waste coming from pennsylvania into new jersey today, and those are decisions that people closest to the voter are making. not local-bus state elected officials, and that is where it should be made. >> thank you. belgard: i am concerned given that we don't even know the processes that are used in the chemicals that are used in the process. i think it is something that needs to be more transparent i also think that there are other alternatives that are safer and cleaner that can be explored. mentioned a couple of earlier. solar, wind, geothermal options. and i would agree, we don't have shale here in new jersey. i believe our legislature
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has even banned fracking in new jersey. but our neighbors to the west, it's obviously an issue and one of concern for people who are worried about their health and welfare. as i mentioned to my thing more transparency is needed in the process. that think we need to look at different alternatives. >> this question begins with candidate aimee belgard. do you feel their is a need for the federal government to further stabilize the financial position? belgard: i think that the conservatism is like a bad rock, an american institution. it is not like one. it is an american institution command we need to make sure our postal service remains solvent moving forward, especially here in the third district where we have such a large population of seniors that are relying on getting their mail six days a week whether
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further medication or even to make sure that they are seeing a postal person on a daily basis. a kind of end up checking in on the. so again, it is an american bedrock here in the united states, and we need to continue to maintain it, the delivery of some one star home. >> moderator: >> can visit tom macarthur. macarthur: i am happy to report that candid it's aimee belgard and i agree on an issue this evening care for the next question will begin with candid it's tom macarthur. do you believe the law should represent marriage equality? belgard: i believe that marriage is between one man and one woman. in it that challenges to reconcile those two, to make
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sure that people are treated equally under law. i did not believe the definition of marriage should be changed. >> moderator: thank you. candidates aimee belgard? belgard: i believe in marriage equality. i think this is a civil rights issue and have spoken about it. when my colleague and i put forth the revolution to the governor manage equality legislation. you know what kind of think that it is for legislators to decide who can love each other and you can be buying each other's hospital bedsides. true civil rights issues, and i believe people should be able to love each other and be married.
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♪ i do want to be clear when i speak about equal under law, some of that you just alluded to, for example visitation rights in hospitals and certain legal rights, things were rented in new jersey under other institutions. and those elements to my take on more importance. >> the next question begins with candid aimee belgard. social security. would you or would you not recognize making some changes? >> thank you. so i don't recommend making any sensitive changes to our medicare system. again, this is another promise that has been made to folks. we have seen through this current budget that was passed by the house this year dramatic changes to medicare. you know, i think there are to reach that can be made to
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make sure that medicare remains solvent. for example, some of the prescription drug negotiation that happened with medicaid, let's look at using knows for medicare to make give more solvent and affordable. i am certainly not in favor of reducing or in any way changing medicare benefits to our seniors. again, and a promise that has been made and that must be kept. macarthur: i am concerned about changes that have been made, the $700 million of obamacare took out of medicare to support obamacare concerns me and will affect the quality of care to seniors overtime. i also have been, as i have tried to as i prepare a jobs plan, which i mentioned earlier, when industry by industry. when it came to health care i visited six hospitals, one
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for the health institutes of the jersey, the burlington county medical society, host of others. and i was asking, what is the of four will care act in the medicare changes doing to you? and that is covered our hospitals in particular are being hammered by medicare changes. will just mention to. one is there readmission role. if you go to the hospital and are released, if you go back for any reason within a certain amount of time you don't get paid as a hospital somebody can be in for an illness and a week later they break their leg. when they are readmitted the hospital does not get paid. there is also what is called fraud, on the company's that are allowed to era reclaim moneys that hospitals have been paid under medicare. they did not have to prove their case. they simply say, you have been overpaid by ex.
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they get to take it as an offset. an anonymous glass to fight to get it back. the hospitals wind nearly 80 percent of the time, but it takes them years to get that money dividend am greatly concerned about the stress that is placing on hospitals. under obamacare as well the deductibles are so i and hospitals are being saddled from bad debt by people who can't afford to pay their bills with in those deductibles. these things do need attention. hospital systems are under stress. >> thank you can get it. belgard: i would agree. these are issues that do need to be addressed. unfortunately we have a congress right now that refuses to do that. we need to bring folks together so that we can continue. then dollar received as.
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not just the legislators, but as you mentioned the folks from the hospital system and the medical profession so that we can fix these issues such as the we are making sure our seniors in getting the utmost care and the most efficient and effective voice. >> a couple of manse. >> a question, since you mentioned it, segue into would. why do you think this is so and what can we do to changes? macarthur: the president's approval rating is terrible. congress is even worse. one of the prairies is i am running for this office is that congress is at a total impasse. people stuck in their camps
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and willing to work together , and i believe the answer is for people who can work together to be in congress. that is the bedrock of building a business. that is how we grow. we have to work together. we have to work sometimes of companies that we might want to acquire, competition in the marketplace. it is one of the things i am most proud of in this campaign, getting endorsements from business groups like the u.s. chamber of commerce, the national federation of independent business in at the same time getting endorsements from labor unions like the carpenters, the laborers, the operating engineers and others because they often don't get along. and yet they agree that i am somebody that can help them create jobs and do the things that are important to them. we absolutely have to have congressmen and women that have a demonstrated ability to work with other people. >> moderator: thank you.
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kendis aimee belgard. belgard: thank you. congress is an absolute mess, and that is exactly why am running, to use the skills i have learned, whether as a volunteer with the american cancer society to my skills in negotiating as an attorney, even the skills that i have gained as a burlington county freeholder where i worked across the aisle with our republican colleagues. i am not there to argue for the sake of arguing. i am perfectly willing to agree with my republican colleagues and they ever get idea. i used to say when i was running for free all there, one of my favorite quotes is that the benjamin franklin. if everyone is thinking alike nobody is thinking. it's really believe that sometimes you can bring divergent views together and come up with something even better. that is a great thing. right now congress has lost sight of that. there's so set in their ways, digging their heels in the ground, not willing to listen to folks on the other side of the aisle or even
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think about the fact that they might have a good idea. and i am willing to do that. i have done it as a burlington county freeholder and will in congress and do it in representing the struggling middle class. our veterans, are seniors, you know, the hard-working people of the third district . macarthur: i would like to respond. think the proof is in the pudding, and in order to work with other people in congress you have to be willing sometimes to stand a three-room party. you can't be bought store-bought peabody have to be willing to stand for what you believe in. i have to go back -- i have to go back ted eck, two of which have come off the air because there were so defamatory and dishonest. and as said this before, campaigns are interesting. it put candid it's under pressure and then they put you under a microscope. and under that pressure and that microscope aimee
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belgard could not disavow the ads that her handlers in washington and put up on the air, even after they had to take them down to still would not say dishonesty has no place in the campaign. i don't know how you work in congress if he can't even do it in a campaign. >> moderator: one minute response. belgard: thank-you. i like the you have brought up that disavow your party because i think that is. and as a have said throughout this campaign in continue to maintain, i am not about the label. it is not about being a democrat or republican. it is about working for the people, and that is what have exhibited, whether it was in at a water park where i voted against my party because i thought it was the right thing to do or as a burlington county freeholder when i worked with the opposite party because i think it was the right thing to do.
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that is what we need more of. it is about collaboration, and that is what i absolutely pride myself on. >> moderator: thank you. next question. we will begin with candidate aimee belgard. it is about taxes. a lot of news about american corporations adjusting themselves in a legal position, overseas are something so that they can avoid paying taxes in america. at the stand? belgard: we have seen it most recently with the potential losing burger king in another the president has spoken now with regard to taxing in version. and i think it is unfortunate that burger king has a right to this but something that absolutely must be addressed. you know, again, i have talked about that i don't like to see yes incentivizing companies that a shipping jobs overseas, but i also don't want to see us losing companies like burger king and others and losing the benefits of
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having those companies year. while it is unfortunate that it has been brought to light to my am glad it has been brought to the table so that we can work to keep companies right here and incentivize them to stay right here in the united states. >> moderator: thank you. candid it's tom macarthur. macarthur: in verses are a problem. companies that want to be overseas. the problem is our tax code. our tax cut does incentivizes or incentivizes sometimes the wrong behavior. that is so we have to look at. our tax cut is to be simple, flat, and lowered. i also want to talk for a moment about foreign earnings. mentioned how important infrastructure investment was earlier for job creation. in the question as to how we pay for that? u.s. companies with foreign operations as we sit here tonight have trillions of dollars sitting overseas. they do not bring it back
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because it will be taxed a second time if they do. and so it sits over there and i know from my business experience it frequently gets invested in foreign infrastructure. that money could do a world of good. it could create tens of thousands, hundreds of thousand jobs if it was brought back,. if the estimate is maybe $4 trillion overseas. what if a train of it came back? seventeen and a half trillion dollar economy, what if another trillion dollars goes back in the united states? in my a experience capital is what creates jobs. investment is what creates jobs. and we need to make our tax code sensible. it is common sense to me that we have to adjust the tax code that is driving u.s. companies to do the kinds of things that they're doing today. >> moderator: okay. our next question will begin with candidate tom
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macarthur. a very simple question. detailed questions. could not have been born here. raise your from my very young age. macarthur: i do believe that there should be a path to citizenship. we're not going to deport 11 million people that are here illegally. we're not going to break up families. there has to be a path. similar to what we talked about earlier. immigration policy has to start with strong borders, and then people that have not committed crimes, if they pay back taxes, if they learn english then, i think, you create a path for them. meanwhile, you created ability for them to work. i hear that all over this district. they want people that are here to have an ability to
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work because they need that. with regard to children in institutions, i will answer my own question. i don't believe that children that are here illegally should get in state tuition. in that do not believe we should do it because for every child here illegally that goes to a state school with in state tuition, there is another child who is here illegally you can't. colleges have limits of how many students there will take at the lower in-state tuition. so every time we favor the child of someone here illegally we're punishing the child of somebody that is here illegally, and i don't think it's right. i have compassion to my genuinely have compassion for the so-called dreamers, but there are consequences. their parents have them here illegally, and one of the consequences is, i don't think they should get the same institution has the
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citizens of the state. >> moderator: thank you. belgard: thank you. children are really the victim of circumstances here. as a mother is heartbreaking to me to see this situation of some of these children. and, you know, i cannot imagine tearing families apart. some of these children don't know any other country because they came here from such a young age. and to send them back to a country where they might not even know the language of the culture. so it is about keeping families together. and that think that we do that through a pass to citizenship like was discussed before, but making sure that we are protecting these children who really are the innocent victims of circumstance next question will begin with candidate bill guard.
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we talked about an education question. all citizens have the ability -- i'm sorry, wrong question. please discuss with you believe should be the role of the federal government in providing quality public education? specific committed to some specifics on that. >> i am the product of public education. and both of my children are publicly educated. they are in fourth and seventh grade now. and i have seen first hand in my own school district some of the difficulties the schools are facing elementary and middle schools in the past year lost their libraries. so schools are facing a very difficult position right now . as we all know, schools are really more local in nature,
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but i think that we need to make sure that we don't have cuts to things like head start programs and things like that that we have seen in the budget that congress passed this year. make sure that schools are continuing to get federal resources that they need to be successful. i think when you talk about education we also need to look at higher education. we have seen the budget that was passed by congress, huge cuts to programs which were absolutely stifling our students looking to go into college and higher education. i talked about how i think that we need to make sure that we are investing in education here in this country. again, looking to reallocate funds, whether it is from money that is being given to big oil are money that is being shipped overseas. again, and education is the
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foundation here in the united states to be able to stay a part of the global market and a global economy. i had the opportunity to hear a story recently, young man who got his medical degree, did everything he was supposed to do, got a great job in new york city but could not actually get a lease on an apartment because he was so encumbered by loans. that is terrible. i also the product of public education, as are my children. my youngest is a senior haskell. and i see education primarily as a local and state function. i believe that is where it needs to be shipped the most i am concerned to the most of failing school districts. i think in those districts parents and students have to
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have other options. no child should be trapped in a failing school district teacher tenure reform, very, very critical. i think that the federal government can play a supportive role, but i do not think it should take over education. with regard to higher education there are things could and should take place. student loan rates are too high and cannot be refinanced. students are graduating with debt that is choking out their ability to make a living. there could be tax credits, should be tax credits for higher education costs, the federal government should invest more indication of schools so that students can graduate with less debt, with the skills for the jobs that are available to them instead of graduating from college is sometimes with greater debt into a job market that cannot higher than. and so i think vacation
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schools are a key area where the federal and state governments should be investing. this is the foundation for our future economy, having a well-educated work force. >> part of the education in the secondary education overview. the importance of county colleges here in burlington and the ocean county, we have some gems. having been a burlington county freeholder reckon speak to this. not only as sometimes a jump-start to other college or university institutions, for example in burlington county where we parted with drexel university carters, and stockton as well. but also, they are a resource for folks who are having difficult times, whether folks who have been laid off are looking for a new career, they can come
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and learn new skills. so i think that we need to look at the federal government investing in these sorts of institutions like county colleges. >> the next question will begin with candidate macarthur. more specifically on veterans, what kind of programs you would like to enact or have congress enact ? >> well, what has happened to our veterans is a tragedy the way they have been treated under the veterans administration is a national scandal. it is beginning to get this fixed, but there is a good deal more attention and work that needs to be done. one of the areas in my jobs plan dealt specifically with veterans, and there are a number of things that we can do. congress shamefully allowed the returning veterans tax credit to expire. the wounded warrior tax credit expired. these give incentives to
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employers to hire veterans and make use of the skill set that they have learned. i think that is essential
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still in office just over in pennsylvania. would reach out to him because i know he has been instrumental in working with the veterans affairs department to try to rectify some of the problems. i think we also need to make sure that we are filling our promises to our veterans and making sure that they have access to education after they have served in to good jobs. a lot of our veterans have partnered with the u.s. postal service and others to mumbo we need to make sure
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that our veterans who, again , have put everything on the line for us are able to not only get the care that they need but also good jobs that can help them continue to put food on their tables after they have done everything for us. >> i just want to expand on one thing, something that i firmly support. and that was a recent action that allows veterans if they have to travel more than 40 miles away more than 30 days for care at a veterans facility that there would be able to go to a physician of their choice. think that is important. i also don't understand why we don't have the veterans boss the -- of veterans hospital. we knew it when near the joint base. we have the largest veterans' population in the state. we have one of the largest in the country. one of the largest military communities in the country
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right here in the middle of the joint base. we should have a facility here in this district that will create jobs building it, running it, and most importantly serve our veterans. i would agree that the recent passage by washington of legislation allowing more veterans to seek medical attention if they are 40 miles or more away from facility is a step in the right direction, but i do have concerns that veterans might not get some of the specialized care in facilities that are not. because despite the claims problems, and they do have the ability to make sure that there are special treatments, for example, ptsd victims and others. it is a step in the right
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direction but a problem we need to continue to work on and expand on going forward. >> moderator: thank you peter very specific question from the audience, and we begin with candidate belgard do you support legislation to raise the federal minimum wage or howdy stand? belgard: i do support legislation, and i think pam mentioned it earlier. i think that this is an issue that is long overdue in this country. as i mentioned earlier, there are about two-thirds of the people on minimum wage right now are women. folks who are trying to put food on the table for their families, get their kids to school in the morning, trying to make a fair wage for their family. in a there are other benefits to it. like an mentioned earlier. raising the minimum wage
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alone could reduce the shortfall in social security by one-third. right now we have a congress that is not even willing to address this issue of. so absolutely can i think that raising the minimum wage has to be part of the discussion and part of the economic package moving forward in this country. >> thank you. macarthur: yes. i have a bit of a different view on the minimum wage. i believe it is best done at the state level. have never understood how federal minimum-wage can cover rural alabama in suburban new jersey at the same time. in that thing state minimum wages are much more responsive to local constituencies. new jersey, for example, has ironman always in the federal and it is being raised again soon by constitutional amendment. i also want to see people move off of minimum wage. ..
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>> we don't have time to cover a whole another session, so we would move toward closing remark. we did a coin toss. >> well, thank you again for everyone who came out and joined us taking her time in to be here and be a part of the process
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tonight. it has been a really big pleasure to be here this evening and as i mentioned earlier this evening, i am from south jersey and my interest in going to congress is to serve the people that i grew up with, whether it is the hard-working middle class family, the farmers that we have broader districts those that work on the coastline here in the district are at we have such a diverse district here and the folks in this district need a voice and being a voice for the american cancer society, being a voice in edgewater park, i am looking to take it one step further and be a voice for the
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people of the third district of south jersey the hard-working middle class folks in the women who are without a voice right now, as we have seen most recently with some of the discussions about equal pay in this country, we need a voice for our veterans and we have seen the systemic problems in the va system and we need a voice for the seniors whether it's social security, medicare, that is exactly what we will be in congress, is the voice for the people of south new jersey that i have grown up with and who i love so much. thank you. >> i also want to thank you for the opportunity. macarthur: i want to touch on talk versus action, namely the constituency groups in the district isn't the ability to
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serve them. and so when i compare myself and ms. aimee belgard, there's a number of comparisons. i've created jobs, thousands of them and aimee belgard taxed them in her local town. i've paid men and women fairly for decades and these are now talking points for 2014. we have talked about helping hurricane sandy victims in a couple settings and this is something that we did, my wife and i did as we provided funds to families that were displaced and we provided the american red cross to help with that and we open our own home and have a family living in our home for months after hurricane sandy. i've heard her talk about the need to serve sandy victims and they just don't need talked, but
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they need help and service. i've issued a jobs plan and i haven't seen any plan from her to create jobs and i don't think she has the experience to create them. and i have been open for many, many months. this is our first debate and i asked for debates in june and july, august, september, here we are in october finally sitting at a table together. i think my opponent has been hiding. the second theme is about honesty and how to develop relationships and i can see that i'm out of time. but i will just say this. i say what i mean and i mean what i say and i have it's been the same in this campaign on the other side. >> let's give a round of applause.
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for everyone. [applause] [applause] >> moderator: i want to thank c-span for being here. i want to thank everyone again. then i want you to urge your friends to vote. [inaudible] [inaudible] [inaudible] >> each of us has the right and a privilege to do that and you must be properly registered. you have until october 14 [inaudible] you can download the application [inaudible] and you can do it by mail if you
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can do so [inaudible] >> your application must be received seven days prior by the postman [inaudible] [inaudible] and of course, most important, remember to vote.
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michael mcelroy, acting director of the national the a chaplain center. representing the disabled veterans life memorial foundation, its passionate, hard-working board of directors who have been charged with erecting this memorial as they spent the last 16 years working on this and have given countless hours of time to ensure its successful completion.
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mrs. lois pope, co-founder and chair person of the disabled veterans like memorial, thank you. co-founder and president arthur wilson. secretary dennis joyner. treasurer dean murphy. mrs. diane mosselman. roberto bobby bureya. we owe all of them and deep debt of gratitude. another round of applause for all their hard work. thank you for their work. said lee there are three men who made enormous contributions to
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the memorial who did not live to celebrate this special day. the hon. jesse brown, former secretary of veterans affairs and co-founder of the memorial. [applause] >> and board members, the hon. gordon mansfield, former acting secretary of the va. [applause] >> and kenneth muscleman, a distinguished vietnam veteran. please join me, please join me in a moment of silence to honor these three great men. i know they are with us in
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spirit today. thank you for remembering them. we also indebted today to many individuals, foundations, organizations, and corporations who made this historic day possible. there are more than 1 million individual donors whose contribution made this memorial a reality. again, we thank everyone for their generous contributions, one and all. many of you are gathered here today. thank you for your contributions. [applause] >> now i would like to welcome the rev. michael mccullough, acting director of the national va chaplains center for the
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invocation. >> let us pray. we in vote your name as we come today on this ground in our national capital to dedicate our nation's memorial to living and indices disabled veterans. we thank you for the american veterans disabled for life memorial land for those who knew bring into being. we raise this memorial to a reminder of disabled veterans sacrifice. made it stand as a lasting symbol of their country, make it
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stand for the commitment beyond the call of duty that they may have given. let this memorial spend, oh god come as a monument generations now and forever may always remember our military men and women, patriotism, sacrifice, and suffering. we ask this day that you make this monument a blessing to all who passed by and whose eyes glance upon it. may it call us to remember that which is commemorating and also find in it your love forever. feel less with your peace and strength as we bless this memorial in your name. made it stand as a symbol of the love the we have for each other
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and as a reminder to us and to our nation of the costs of freedom, inspired the president and others who shall speak on this occasion and maybe all kerri to our homes and increased love for our country and for nation's disabled veterans. in your name, oh god, we bless and dedicate this monument. amen. >> ladies and gentlemen, please rise if you are able for the presentation of colors by the armed forces color guard, military district of washington, and remain standing for the pledge of allegiance and our national anthem.
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[silence] >> porche, halt! present arms! ♪
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♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪
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>> to lead us in the pledge of allegiance, the director of the disabled veterans of life memorial foundation, mr. robe b robertbereerra o. >> i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice fall. >> right shoulder!
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[silence] >> thank you, you may be seated. it is now my pleasure to introduce our first speaker, lois polk, whose commitment to disabled veterans knows no bounds. she was instrumental in the creation of this memorial, the
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joining forces in 1998 with then national adjunct arthur wilson and the late secretary of veterans affairs, jesse brown. please welcome willis polk. [applause] >> thank you for that gracious introduction and thank you for your interest and support for the memorial for so many years. good morning and welcome to the dedication of this magnificent american veterans disabled for life memorial. [applause] >> history is being made here today. at long last we have a memorial to in form, a gkn remind us of
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the courage, sacrifices and the continuing struggles of the more than 4 million living disabled veterans and the hundreds of thousands who have died before them. these walls -- they stand as symbols that our disabled veterans have never been forgotten. and serve as reminders that the cost of war does not end when the guns are silenced. every day disabled veterans continue to battle with their physical and mental disabilities, to reintegrate into society, to adjust to new family life and professional realities. our respect and recognition of their struggles and sacrifices
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are long overdue. [applause] >> i wish i could tell you that i always had the plight of disabled veterans close to my heart, but that simply was not the case. i started as a young broadway actress in musical theater. i was naive and clueless about delores that war can inflict on the bodies and minds of human beings. disabled veterans first entered my consciousness in the 1960s in a dramatic way when i was asked to entertain vietnam vets at the rehabilitation center in new york city. as i walked into that room, jammed with men lying on berries, hobbling on crutches, and multiple and duties in
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wheelchairs, i was shocked. piano started to play and i began to sing the song somewhere from west side story. as i saying the lines hold my hands and i will take you there, i reached out to hold a young soldier's hand but he had no hand for me to hold. that was my first impression of the sacrifices that our nation's disabled veterans have suffered and sacrificed. years later, i stopped to place my hand on my cousin's name inscribed in the wall of the vietnam memorial. unmanned, multiple and easy, struggled in a wheelchair to way of.
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k of flowers on his buddy's name. as i turned to leave i asked the park ranger, where is a memorial for disabled veterans? and he said there wasn't one. that was it. that did it. that was the spark, that was the catalyst that sent me on the 16 year quest to build this memorial, star of the disabled veterans could earn the respect and recognition that they so deserved. [applause] >> the memorial that we dedicate this letting his rifle achievement of the many who devoted countless hours, energy and talent to the frog jetblue chief among these were the late
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jesse brown who is standing beside me here today in spirit. he was former secretary of veterans affairs and arthur wilson, national adjutant of the d a d and he is sitting here. [applause] >> he is also the co-founder and president of our memorial foundation. to the many donors of the memorial, both large and small, to be dedicated board of directors to its superb staff, to the cooperative members of the united states park service, you have my profound gratitude. this magnificent oedipus was built with private donations and large we will largely from the disabled veterans themselves. this is their gift to a great
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phonation. [applause] >> this is a day of firsts. the memorial is the nation's first permanent public tribute in our history to the 4 million living disabled veterans and those who have died before them. it is also the first in our history to honor the men and women of all five branches of the military services, army, where are you guys? navy, marines, air force conlan and coast guard. coastguard. okay. it is a first in our history to honor our disabled american veterans and all of our nation's
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conflicts, all of our nation's conflict and wars. of the 12 memorials the american veterans disabled for less moralistic closest to the nation's capital. this is significant because this memorial was in ceremonial flames, bears witness to one and all including our e elected representatives in the nearby capital of the continuing human cost of war. today, the journey that began so many years ago in new york city has ended, but our fight for disabled veterans continues and commitment to their cause endured. for too long they have been unsung heroes.
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today we say unsung no more. [applause] >> thank you for your vision, dedication and generosity. i just noticed sitting in the front row here, an outstanding member of congress, outstanding chairman of the veterans affairs committee, congressman jeff miller, thank you for all your leadership. stand up and be recognized. you have been a great leader for veterans. thank you for being here. now i would like to welcome the
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outstanding secretary of the interior, the hon. sally jewell has shown great leadership since arriving at the department of interior, the department of interior has nearly 20% of america's public land, national wildlife refuge, national parks, including the very spot on which we stand today. please give a warm welcome to the secretary of the interior, secretary sally jewell. >> thank you for coming out of this spectacular data. i can't think of a better day to honor a better cause than what we are here for today. thank you lois, art, volunteers
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and the million donors and board members for what you have done for all american people through this spectacular memorial and everything it stands for. one of the great privileges of being secretary of the interior and the honor of overseeing the national park system, 401 special places that tell the story of america. among those are more than 50 national parks which include monuments and battlefields that serve as memorials to the men and women who fought for our freedom across the country and around the world. collectively these sites underscore the cost of war. the burdens and sacrifices that you make on behalf of the many. at pearl harbor, will still leaks to the surface from the uss arizona after more than 70
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years. a reminder of 900 men in tune in the sunken battleship below have been there and it is a powerful place. if you blocks from here the vietnam veterans memorial is a living memorial, visitors have left 400,000 flowers, photographs and other items in remembrance of the 58,300 men and women whose names are inscribed on the wall and i invite you to see this memorial live and the number of people and come every day to paid tribute. so today it is a great pleasure to add a new memorial to the national park system to honor those who carry with them the visible and the invisible scars of war, a memorial dedicated to disabled veterans, our friends, our neighbors, our co-workers, our family members who bear the physical and emotional cost of
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defending our country. like so many of our national parks the american veterans disabled for life memorial is a result of the partnership between the american people and their government. with inspiration and funding from private citizens and organizations and i applaud all who contributed their time, talent and treasure to making this day possible, thank you, all of you, who contributed. [applause] >> the national mall is one of the most visited places in the national park system with 20 million visitors a year, many visitors will cross independence avenue over revers to visit this memorial. when they arrive a volunteer coordinator with the national park service named james peirce might be the one who greets them like he greeted me when i came shovel in hand to do work on the martin luther king jrmemorial
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on a day of service over there. on a day of service over there. i enjoyed running into james multiple times on the national mall. he works with a brace on his leg, the result of an injury he sustained in a suicide bombing when he was serving in afghanistan. like many wounded veterans james has chosen to continue to serve his country as a public servant to the team now has an honor to be one of the caretakers of this powerful memorial so james, i think you are out there. if you would stand as an example of the men and women of the department of interior and national park service, right over is there. thank you, james. thank you. thanks to all who are giving service after serving in wars. this story is echoed throughout the walls of this beautiful space. stories of bravery, stories of injuries sustained, stories of hope and the read discovery of
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purpose. the national park service is america's storytelling on behalf of the men and women at the department of interior we are proud to welcome this memorial land this story and the many other stories that will be told on this memorial for the national park service family. thank you all so much. [applause] >> now it is my pleasure to introduce someone who has been an incredible champion not only for this memorial but for veterans and active duty active personal and family. what began as a personal commitment to our nation's heroes back home in native chicago quickly evolve to into a handshake for with the u.s. of and iraq and afghanistan and around the world. he formed the lieutenant dan band performing for hundreds of thousands of troops at home and
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abroad. in 2011 he established a foundation to honor our troops, our veterans, first responders and their families for his tireless work and dedication he has been honored with the presidential citizens medal, the second highest civilian honor awarded by the president of the united states. please join me in a rousing welcome to the stage this actor, humanitarian and national spokesperson for the american disabled for life memorial, gary sinise. [applause] >> thank you for that wonderful introduction. welcome, everyone. special thank you to our past
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and present military here today. is an honor to be in your presence. that is my ride. first i would like to congratulate art and lois and the foundation board of directors who after a 16 year effort brought this memorial to reality. a magnificent tribute to the most honored guests of all here today, our injured veterans. [applause] >> and also, a special acknowledgment to the late jesse brown. i know that he is smiling today. in his farewell address to the nation in 1988 ronald reagan said that all great change in comerica begins at the dinner table. it is clear what president reagan meant. at these gatherings often with family members that one respect and admirers who have experienced and sacrificed much
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in life that one can have a meaningful conversations that stir our convictions, inspire us to action and bring us to an understanding of what life is really all about. in the late 1970s and early 80s as a young man i sat at that dinner table with the vietnam veteran side of my wife's family and i began to receive an education of what they experienced during the war, how bravely they thought, how they felt, the shameful way they were treated when they came home. imagine if being a risk to wear the uniform in public as was the case for many returning from vietnam and i am sure some here today remember that all too well. my brother in law, a combat medic, passed away this past wednesday of cancer at age 68 and today, october 5th, he would
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have been 69 years old. he was like a brother to me and told me once how after his tour in vietnam on a rival into the states went into a stall in the airport bathroom to remove his uniform to change into his civilian clothes to keep from being stared at or shouted at or possibly spit-. i will miss jack d. early and learned much from him, listening to his stories and the stories of the vietnam veterans in my family was any tiffany for me. it made me think about the precious gift of my own freedom and the price paid to secure it and i felt a strong sense of guilt for being so oblivious as a young teenager to what our vietnam veterans, many just like the older than i, were going through but it was out of that guilt and shame that a new mission began, a need to take action to do something to try to
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make a difference in the lives of those who served. in 1993 as i continue my journey in television and theater and film acting good things came highway and i was fortunate to have the opportunity to play wounded veteran lt. dan taylor in forest gump. that role me to a 20 year relationship with the disabled american veterans organization and the great privilege of acting as national spokesperson for the american veterans disabled for life memorial foundation and this extraordinary tribute to our wounded that we dedicate today. it was president abraham lincoln who said any nation that does not honor its heroes will not
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long indoor. today and from this day forward with the opening of this national monument, we honor millions of our heroes living with the wounds of war, with a place of healing, remembrance conlan and gratitude for all they have given and by so doing, we held to ensure that our nation will endure for generations to come. ..
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>> this place is a critical importance on always taking care of our military service members and their families before, during and after the battle. the dangers of the 21st century are clear. with no doubt that this entry will be equally if not more dangerous than the previous one. the united states must maintain a strong defense, impossible to do without strong defenders. and for all they've done, for all they have sacrificed, they ask so little in return. knowing they are honored that they will get the care they need when they need it, but they are not forgotten, ma and that their sacrifice is appreciated can make a world of difference. 13 years ago on taste terrible september morning will do we know the coming years would
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bring us thousands of gold star families and an entire new generation of real-life, lieutenant dan's. we not upwards to 4 million living with her injuries, wounded in america's wars, supported and looked after by our unsung heroes, america's caregivers your we cannot give those wounded veterans back their arms -- [applause] we cannot give those wounded veterans back their arms and legs. we cannot give them back their eyes, there is, pieces of themselves that have been lost, or the mindset of an altered. but we can give them come and we must give them, our respect, our everlasting thanks and our support. [applause] one of our great military leaders retired admiral william mcraven, u.s. navy seal gave
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theh ast spring at his alma mater at the university of texas. their motto is what starts here changes the world. and he gave lessons from what he learned in his field training that the students could implement the changes influence the world as they graduated and went forth in this society. one of those lessons was about having to swim under a ship at night and find the keel, the centerline, and the deepest part of a ship. this is the darkest part of the ship where you cannot see your hand in front of your face, where the noise from the ship's machinery is deafening, and where it is easy for even a well-trained navy seal to get disoriented and fail. admiral mcraven said, every seal knows that under the keel of the darkest moment of the mission it is the time when you
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must be the most calm and composed. when all your tactical skills, your physical power, and all your inner strength must be brought to bear. if you want to change the world, you must be your very best in the darkest moment. we could never do enough for our nation's freedom providers, our heroes, but we can always show them we appreciate what they have fought and sacrificed for by doing a little bit more to give something back to them. and as all americans been bit in the freedom and security provided by our military community, very simply, if every citizen in every neighborhood, in every community and every town and city, and every state, would make it a priority to seek out and serve the needs of veterans and military families within those communities, they
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have the courage to take determined action to walk with our veterans, many of whom have lived through the darkest moments of life in combat or have come him physically or mentally injured, and they face many dark moments ahead, if we, the people, will show our appreciation with a willingness to serve above self, to help them move forward, just as lieutenant dan taylor was able to do, then we will be at our very best in someone else's darkest moment. thank you for allowing me to speak at this important dedication ceremony, for the american veterans life memorial park thank you to those brave warriors in attendance today for everything you have done for our country. may god bless all those still serving in harm's way, our military families, and may god
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bless and watch over our america, and help us to continue to honor our heroes so that we may long endured. thank you. [applause] ♪ ♪ ♪
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♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪
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♪ ♪ [applause] >> let's hear it once more for the united states army band. [applause] as you know, recently president
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obama appointed a new secretary of veterans affairs, the honorable robert mcdonald who is here with us today. secretary mcdonald is a 1975 graduate of the united states military academy at west point and an alumnus of the university of utah where he earned an mba in -- an army veteran and both airborne and ranger qualified he served with the 82nd airborne division. upon leaving military service, captain mcdonald was awarded the meritorious service medal. in 1980, secretary mcdonald join procter & gamble, a fortune 50 company, and he rose through the ranks to become chief executive officer and president. he retired in june of one the 13th, nominated by president
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obama as the eighth secretary of veterans affairs on june 30. he was confirmed i the united states senate on july 29, 2014, and where grateful to him for his service to our country and our veterans. please welcome secretary mcdonald. [applause] >> thank you, ray. secretary jewell, mrs. pope, mr. sinise, mr. wilson, mr. joyner, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, a heartfelt welcome to our veterans and to all their families. i am deeply honored to help dedicate a grateful nation's memorial to veterans disabled for life. individually and collectively, they are the lifeblood of democracy. as president obama recent reminded us, when the world is
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threatened, it calls on america. and then we call on our troops. because of them come our country's highest principles and ideals endure. our nation stands as the world's foremost example of freedom, justice, and opportunity. and because of them we can ensure a more secure future for all americans. the men and women we honor today, and whom this memorial honors in perpetuity, endure the pain and meet the challenges of lifelong disability. through their sacrifices and perseverance, they have contributed not only to the freedoms we all enjoy, but also to medical advances that benefit so many people. more than any others, the veterans affairs department exists to serve them. they are the va's most important focus, and their disabilities in these continue to drive progress
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across our triad of care. in va research that advances medical science, in our training that prepares doctors and nurses to treat veteran patients according to the high standards of excellence, advocacy, and respect, and in leading-edge clinical care that promotes treatment, healing and, ultimately, cures. asked the nations health care leader, all americans have benefited from va's successes in treating disabled veterans. the work of his medical professionals has been recognized by three nobel prizes, among many, many other honors. few are aware that the research developed the cardiac pacemaker, the first successful liver transplant, the nicotine patch, and the world's most advanced prosthetics, including these
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revolutionary brain gate, a breakthrough that makes it possible for totally paralyzed patients to control robotic arms using only their thoughts. affiliate with over 1800 educational institutions, va has no equal in training america's health care professionals. more than 70% of all u.s. doctors have trained with the va, and each year va educates 62000 medical students and residents, 23,000 nurses, and over 33,000 trainees and other health fields. every day from maine to manila, via professionals deliver quality, compassionate care using state-of-the-art, patient centric systems like the electronic medical records the electronic medical records that va pioneered, and it's a reducing barcode software that ensures the correct medications come in the correct dosage, are administered to the correct
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patient. all of this is carried out in the knowledge that veterans disabled in service to our country are at the heart of va's mission. few have given more to america, and here in the shadow of the nation's capital, this imposing memorial stands as a powerful reminder of their service and their sacrifice. at va we are reminded every single day of their outsized contributions to our country, and it's our pride and our privilege to claim the honor of caring for those who have borne the battle. without question, it is the most noble and inspiring mission in all of government. thank you, and may god bless us all. [applause] >> thank you, mr. secretary. also with us today to share their unique insights are to
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disabled veterans, both of whom have devoted countless hours to the creation of this memorial, the first speaker is dennis joyner, a director and secretary of the disabled veterans' life memorial foundation was awarded the bronze star and purple heart for his service in vietnam. let us thank dennis and welcome him. [applause] >> thank you. thank you, secretary lew. distinguished guests, thank you. distinguished guests, friends, my fellow disabled veterans and their families. today we come together to dedicate the american veterans disabled for life memorial. i would like to take a few
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moments to share the journey that brings me and my family here today. i was in vietnam only 32 days when i was wounded, been assigned to every country in which the united states army knife infantry division in the mekong delta. we were on patrol when we came to a canal that we needed to cross. with the tide coming in having a strong undercurrent, those of us who are already crossed went back to help the non-swimmers across. after getting back in single file formation, little did i know that i would walk the last three steps of my life. for after that third step, my life was going to start over. i never heard the explosion that day, june 26, 1969. never losing consciousness, i can see exactly what had
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happened to my legs and my left arm. might immediate reaction was, let me die. knowing that he must keep me going into shock, sergeant reynolds slapped me across the face and screamed, joyner, you have a lot to live for. you have a wife back home waiting for you, and a son. and you want to die? sergeant reynolds, i would never have survived without you on the battlefield that day, or for the last 45 years without the assurance that i had a lot to live for that you gave me. i owe you my life. [applause] and i know that saving my life has had a profound effect on you and your family. as the visions and memories from that day are forever etched in your mind. and i'm so blessed that ed reynolds and his family are here
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today to share in this historic event. ed, please stand up. [applause] thanks, buddy. i was sent back to valley forge army hospital -- valley forge army hospital to recover under of young army surgeon, doctor craig roberts who was not yet even 30 years old. my wounds eventually healed cleanly, and although fitted with prosthetic legs, i opted for a wheelchair. for me, i have been blessed to pick up the pieces from that day in vietnam and live a life of fulfillment. although we, disabled veterans lived a life different than most, we have been most fortunate. we don't have to go it alone. we've had our family and friends with us for the entire journey, through the good times and the
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difficult times. our families and friends have also had to deal with the effects caused by our injuries. i can't imagine the fear, the terror that must have been in my families hearts and minds that day they received the telegram explained the severity of my injuries, with no way to contact the hospital or even know where i was 12,000 miles away in a war-torn country. probably more difficult than that, having to walk the long halls at valley forge army hospital for the first times, not knowing what to expect, what was i going to look like? what my attitude would be. tried to think of what to say, seeing me for the first time minus three limbs. a walk my mother would often say was the longest walk of her life. and how difficult must it have been for my wife to do the
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words, her daddy doesn't have any legs. said by one of my daughters, kindergarten classmates, and a laughter that filled the room. all the children laughing except for one, my daughter. as tears filled her eyes, she said, why are they laughing at my daddy? or the lifelong impression that was formed in a 14 year old girls young mind as she visited us wounded soldiers on board for at valley forge army hospital, and all abt ward for four years -- abt ward, encouraging us on. diane, i thank you and will forever remember and love you for all that you've done for us. to my family, my sister and brother who were there that day that my parents received a telegram from vietnam, to my sons and daughter who have had
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to live their lives as children of a disabled veteran, with a father who at times was unable to be as normal as their friends dads. and to my wife, donna, who came into my life at a very difficult time, and to has always accepted me for the man that i am. i want you all to know that a part of me wants to say, i'm sorry, that you've had to share in my lifetime sacrifices as a disabled veteran. but down deep in my heart, i can't apologize. i can only thank you for showing your love for this great country of ours by being beside me throughout my journey. today i have been honored to share a small part of my life as a disabled veteran, and the impact that it has had on my
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family and my friends. we are not unique in our story. we are just one example of the thousands of lives affected by the lifelong disabilities that are the terrifying consequences of war. although i've been blessed with many achievements in life, the achievement that i am most proud of is this memorial. [applause] a memorial that gives meaning and the many thousands of other disabled veterans like me a sense of contentment knowing that what we gave, what our families gave, and what we continue to give will be forever remembered here in our nation's capital. god bless the nation's disabled veterans, and god bless the
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united states of america. [applause] >> dennis, i know that everyone here will agree with me that your words were moving beyond measure. i would like to ask that dennis was honor by president ronald reagan as handicapped american of the year, and by the dav as the national outstanding disabled veteran of the year. dennis, all of us here are embedded to your sacrifice. thank you. [applause] >> and now a man of enormous vision who defines what this memorial is all about,
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mr. wilson, cofounder and president of the disabled veterans' life memorial foundation. art served in vietnam, the philippines, thailand and taiwan, and for much of his life has been an outspoken advocate of disabled veterans, striving to ensure that america understands the sacrifices made by disabled veterans. so it is my pleasure to introduce the leader, an outstanding leader, art wilson, known by all of you as dav art. [applause] >> thank you.
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and good morning. two of our friends and distinguished guests, to my fellow board members, and most of all, to my fellow disabled veterans. it is humbling for me to be here on this historic occasion as we dedicate a permanent place of on her for those who sacrifices and contributions for freedom will make sure the duration of our nation's way of life. this is a culmination of hard work, support and vision shared by many. among them are some dear friends who are here in spirit and watching from above. we gather in our nation's capital, a place where honor is bestowed upon nearly every cause, and history is remembered in bronze and stone from every vantage. we honor our fallen. we honor every branch in the
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battles, but until this day, this very day, we have not remembered those who live and whose lives were forever changed by the sacrifices they made in uniform. and yet without their stories and the experiences of their loved ones, we as a people cannot know the cost of war. without acknowledging their sacrifices, we forget the courage that ensures our freedoms, and the promises we have made to those who defend our land. the experiences attached on these walls remind us that for those who serve and their families, more often continues long after the final bullet is fired. the most difficult fight often begins after the injury is
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sustained. that includes people like felicia boston, october 26, 1991, while serving as an army radio operator in saudi arabia, a scud missile struck the berries adjacent to hers. some 27 soldiers lost their lives that day. specialist weston was among the nearly 100 who were severely wounded, so partially blinded by the attack, she recounts on these walls the bewildering feeling of helplessness. i felt so alone, watching what was happening. at this point i knew i had been hurt but i just wanted to find someone for my company, she said. you know, the purpose of this memorial is to honor those changed by war and to show them that they are never ever alone. and as the words of my dear friend, the late jesse brown,
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remind us, for tragic story of life unraveled by military battle, there are a dozen tales of individuals who have managed to triumph over the harrowing experiences of war and ruin. the story of people like foley shia western does not end with the destruction of war brought to her person. and instead it shows a beginning. it reminds us in granite and glass and fire and water of the hope and the gratitude that they have earned. many on these walls have done much more than survive the war. they have lit a path for the brothers and their sisters to follow. but the bandages and debris were removed from her eyes, the vision of that day of terror were not. the invisible wounds she faced of years of intensive recovery
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and may never fully heal. yet instead of distancing herself from the military service, she has dedicated more than 15 years of her life providing direct advocacy to her fellow veterans, ensuring that they have someone they can count upon. bob lieber era -- who was in an armored personnel carrier in vietnam when a command detonated mine, today known as an ied, was detonated under his vehicle. his fellow marines pulled him from the fiery wreckage but not before he suffered burns over most of his body which resulted in the loss of his right hand and left arm. like many here today, bobby had a choice to make. he could succumb to despair or find a new direction. when he made the choice to live, he decided to dedicate each
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moment to making the world a better place. with his wife by his side, he tackled his education. he became a counselor serving the department of defense. he became involved in veteran service organizations and rose to the ranks to become a national commander of the disabled american veterans. i have a purpose in life that's been develop other military families through some of what i had to go through, bobby words -- bobbies were to tell many generations. if i could do myself nor to help others, i'm okay with that. these walls represent veterans of multiple areas and conflict. those are represented give voice to the many are part of a nationwide community of both intergenerational euros. they include men like army sergeant jason pepper, deployed

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